September - Pet Peeve Month
For the month of September, I’ve decided to explore my most annoying pet peeves. Why because I want to know if they are valid or if I am just a perpetual grump.
Definition: A pet peeve or pet aversion is a minor annoyance that an individual identifies as particularly annoying to himself. A key aspect of a pet peeve is that it may well seem perfectly acceptable to others. In other words, a pet peeve is something that bothers me but probably shouldn’t and may not bother you at all.
Pet Peeve #1:
Children Who Scream
When I taught young children, I guess I was immune to playground noise. I had to be. I had to listen to that noise twice a day, five days a week.
I never did like screaming. Screaming reminds me of past scary Halloweens and people jumping out at me from bushes, frightening the daylights out of me.
Screaming is piercing to the ears and exceedingly distracting when one is writing or meditating or praying or just drinking coffee.
It’s my luck I live facing a parking lot in a large apartment complex and the children have no playground. They play - you guessed it – outside my window. Whether the game is tag, or baseball or toss the basketball, there will be screaming.
Just as I capture the memoir moment of a wedding ceremony, and the tears of the bride’s mother, through my window comes a blood-curdling scream followed by repeated screams as a the boys chases the girls around the parking lot. I run to the window to see who has just been slaughtered. No one. Just part of the game.
We have two little ladies in our neighborhood, about five and seven, who’s voices could shatter glass. I can usually hear them arguing from three fields away. But when they start screaming, I need double ear plugs. I spoke to them one day and said, “Do you girls know how very loud you are?” They stared at me blankly, turned, swatted each other, and roared off, screaming at the top of their very loud lungs.
I believe parents train their children very early to scream. They think it’s cute in toddlers. I have seen those children in the supermarket. Toddlers find screaming gets them attention when mother is distracted. I wonder how cute screaming seems to those parents after several years of it. But of course, by then, it is too late to retrain.
I felt guilty about ragging on little ones until I checked the topic out on the Internet. There are literally hundreds of complaints about kid noise – much of it about kids screaming. Here are a few choice quotes:
A Guest on SteadyHealth says:
“I hate children these days, they are annoying, aggressive, screaming little brats and the parents are no better. As I'm typing this, it's 8.10 pm, and a gang of eight children are outside my bedroom window, screaming at the top of their lungs and it has been going on for near three hours! Why should I have to put up with that kind of noise?"
ZipperJJ says “But nothing, NOTHING pierces the eardrums more than a young girl screeching. Especially when it's persistent. Last summer there was a girl three houses down and across the street selling lemonade during the day. She was screaming about this lemonade for at least an hour. Of all the noises I've had to endure, that has so far been the worst."
Pack2themoon to Home & Garden "Recently there is this family brings their super noisy kids(about 5-6) to run and scream on the street in front of my apartment everyday from 6 pm-10 pm. I really can't take this, it's extremely noisy, the screaming can't be stopped by closing my windows and putting on earplugs. What can I do? This is in NYC, is there any code for noisy street kids?"
So you see, I am not alone and I don't have to label myself a hopeless grouch yet.